Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson of the UN Secretary General, answered the questions of the journalists at the daily press conference.
Pointing to the general discomfort of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Haq said, “We are very concerned about the attack on the facilities for grain and other essential foodstuffs.”
Recalling that Guterres had previously voiced his concerns about the rise in global food prices, the Deputy Spokesperson said that Russian drones targeting the Danube River, Ukraine’s alternative to the Black Sea for transporting grain and other foodstuffs to Europe, “will help alleviate concerns about prices.” It won’t help,” he said.
Emphasizing that the Secretary General “very much wanted” a return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative or a similar understanding, Haq noted that the attacks in question made this possibility even more difficult.
Seeking peace in a starving Yemen
Haq said that Yemen’s Special Representative, Hans Grundberg, informed the Security Council about the latest developments in Yemen.
Haq, conveying Grundberg’s words that the willingness for a solution has increased in the region, but this still needs to be transformed into concrete steps, shared the information he received from other officials in the region. Haq stated that this year, the UN’s goal of providing support to 17 million people in need in Yemen is stuck with the financing problem.
The Deputy Spokesperson shared the information that “The World Food Program has recently suspended malnutrition prevention activities across Yemen from this month and further cuts are expected in the coming months.”
Haq underlined that “the cost will be very high”, especially for Yemeni children, if the necessary funds are not provided urgently.